Tag Archives: technology

Tech Tuesday: 7 Photo-Editing Apps You Need on Your iPhone

20130910-161052.jpgI’m kind of obsessed with my iPhone. I actually referred to it as “my baby” a couple of weeks ago. Yeah. That obsessed.

My iPhone can do all kinds of things from banking to blogging and email to social media. I can play games on it and I can read on it. Seriously, it’s productivity/entertainment goldmine.

But one of my favorite features of my iPhone is its incredible camera. The last point-and-shoot I previously owned (four years ago!) can’t even compare. It’s still not as great as my DSLR, but it’s perfect for taking a quick shot to share on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.

But even if it is just a quick photo, I still want something I can take pride in. That’s why I edit nearly every photo I post before I hit “share.” And once you download these apps, I think you will too.

  1. A Beautiful Mess. It’s perfect for adding text, borders and cute doodles to your photos! Available for iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch. FREE.
  2. Blur It. For those moments when you want to share a photo, but not all the information you may have captured with it. Available for iPhone, iPod Touch and iPadFREE.
  3. Bokeh Camera FX. Quickly add a touch of bokeh (original or heart-shaped) to any photo. Available for iPhone, iPod Touch and iPadFREE.
  4. Bubble Frame. Give your photos a scrapbook feel with cute, patterned backgrounds and colorful text. Available for iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch. $0.99
  5. Camera+. Crop, tone and blur your photos to give them a pro-quality look. Available for iPhone 5 and iPad. $0.99
  6. Frametastic. Compile related photos in a clean frame with a variety of color and sizing options. Available for iPhone and iPad. FREE.
  7. Whitagram. Add white space to your photos, allowing the entire photo to post to Instagram. Available for iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad. FREE.

Is there a photo-editing app that you love? Share in the comments below!

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{infatuation friday}

02.15.2013

  1. dishesSpring Cleaning. It’s almost that time of year. And, well, my apartment complex has decided that spring cleaning should happen in February (we actually have annual cleanliness inspections–lolwut). So I’ve created a temporary board for ideas on getting my home to look sparkly and new. (Since I already have these pins mixed in with other random tips and tricks, I’ll probably delete this board at the beginning of summer.)
  2. Vine. I’ve been thinking about possibly getting into the Vine app, but I’ve heard complaints that there is a major problem with porn in the app. Basically, the app allows users to upload 6-second videos to Vine, which can then be shared on Twitter and/or Facebook. Much like on Twitter or Instagram, you can explore trending topics and hashtags (which, I’m guessing, is where people are happening upon explicit material). Since Vine has received a lot of complaints about children finding pornographic clips, Vine has changed its age restriction to 17+. (I may still get try it because it seems I may need to know how to use it as a journalist.) Available in iTunes for iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad. FREE.
  3. We The People. The White House’s We the People site currently has  a petition for President Obama to start using more inclusive language in his speeches. Specifically, the petition asks that the president “Stop using the ‘wives, mothers, & daughters’ rhetorical frame that defines women by their relationships to other people.” The petition still needs about 97,000 signatures before March 15. Sign it today and spread the word!
  4. Tamagotchi. Nineties kids, rejoice. Tamagotchi is back (and probably needier than ever). Sure, you won’t get to carry your digital pet around on a cool key chain, but who cares? You get your favorite little guy back (and no pesky teacher can ban you from having it)! And this time, your mom won’t have to feed it every ten minutes. Just whip out your phone and feed your pet, then get back to work–just don’t let your boss know that’s not really an important email you were checking. Available in Google Play for Android. (iTunes version is in the works.) FREE.
  5. moviesPitch Perfect. Thanks to Redbox’s Valentine’s Day code from Redbox, I rented Pitch Perfect for free last night. We’re going to watch it tonight as part of our Valentine date. (There were supposed to be two Valentine codes–I was going to rent three movies in all–but one didn’t work; that was disappointing because I wanted to rent the latest Bourne movie for Josh to watch today while I’m not home.)
  6. The Watch. Another freebie from Redbox. Yesterday, Redbox posted a code on Facebook to celebrate reaching 5,000 fans. We’ll also be watching the Watch tonight. (We’re both stoked about this movie.)
  7. Gumbo. On Fat Tuesday, my sister shared this Chicken and Sausage Gumbo recipe on my Facebook wall and told me to make it for her. I haven’t made it yet, but, although it’s no longer Mardi Gras, I still really want to try it. Obviously there will be photos if I make it.
  8. Spiders. Have you seen this video of the bajillion spiders raining down in Brazil? Creeeeppppyyyy! According to the Washington Post article, this isn’t uncommon. Sometimes the wind picks up these spiders (they make big webs in the sky) and when it releases them, they look like they’re just falling from the sky. So… I think I won’t be going to Brazil, like, ever.
  9. beautyDove. Have you  seen this commercial from Dove? It was kind of surprising considering Dove’s Real Beauty campaign. This commercial (and the comments posted below it) presents a good discussion about a happiness tied to beauty products. I’d love to read your thoughts about this in the comments!
  10. Post-Valentine’s Day. Today is one of my favorite holidays: the day after Valentine’s Day. It’s a magical day when all the Valentine crafts and candies go on sale (like, 50-plus percent). It’s beautiful, really. I hope I don’t get to the store too late to rack up on some adorable Valentine sprinkles. And lots of chocolate. Because it offers lots of health benefits, and even if that list isn’t super long, it’s good enough for me.

Have any ideas for this weekly post? Send them to me via email or Facebook. Don’t forget to follow me around the web for updates you won’t see here!

Tech Tuesday: Facebook likes vs. web page views

As a media professional (and a blogger), I rely on social media to drive traffic back to the content I write.

facebook screenshot

You may know already that I use many forms of social media, but today we’re going to focus on Facebook. (And, because I generally don’t like to talk about the goings-on of my job, we’ll be focusing on my blog rather than what I do at work. If you’re reading this as a journalist, keep in mind that using social media for general blogging is a bit different than it is for news outlets. Poynter is my favorite site for information about using social media with reporting.)

Facebook: a learning process

fbiconWe’re looking at Facebook today because it’s been on my mind a lot lately. I keep wondering how I can use Facebook to gain readers on my blog. My biggest struggle with Facebook is turning likes into page views. No matter how much my Facebook following grows, my blog stats tell me that, at most, I’m only getting about two or three clicks from Facebook per day. I’ve been doing some research to try to fix that.

Unfortunately, most of the data I’ve found applies to businesses rather than media companies.

Figuring out how to use social media to bring in more blog views is definitely a learning process for me, and I don’t think I’m alone. Just look at all the how-to’s, infographics and other teaching tools populating sites like Pinterest, Twitter and Google+. These tools certainly aren’t hard to find, but they all say the same thing: post this item at this time for the most likes/shares/comments. I have yet to find an article that explains how to turn those likes/shares/comments into page views for my blog.

Maybe that’s because no one really knows.

I think we’re all still trying to figure out Facebook (and social media in general).

But I do have a theory about how to grab readers’ attention through Facebook.

pagesiconI think it has more to do with content than anything else. It’s a lot like publishing a newspaper or magazine. What attracts people to pick up one publication over another (beyond easily-recognizable publication titles)? Photos. Headlines. Content.

Yes, many Facebook users enjoy looking at a nice photo, and photos will probably attract a good deal of likes and shares, but the I believe textual content of your Facebook post is what’s most important. Tell your readers why they should click through to your website. Otherwise, they may just like the photo and move on.

Links

Here are a few articles I’ve read about improving Facebook stats (though, like I mentioned, most are to get more likes/shares/comments rather than clicks):

(As I find more, you can see them on my Let’s Do Business pin board.)

Lets Discuss

Bloggers, what do you do to make your Facebook friends/fans want to visit your website? Readers, what makes you want to click through the links you see on Facebook?